Duncan puts up 30, Leonard adds 24 to lead Spurs over Cavs
Tim Duncan had 30 points and 12 rebounds, Kawhi Leonard added 24 points and 13 boards, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 119-113 on Saturday night.
Manu Ginobili added 14 points and 10 assists, Nando De Colo had 11 points and Tiago Splitter had 10 for San Antonio (51-16), which is 1 1/2 games ahead of Oklahoma City in the Western Conference.
Wayne Ellington had 21 points and fellow reserve Marreese Speights added 19 for Cleveland (22-44). Shaun Livingston had 16 points, and Alonzo Gee and Dion Waiters added 15 apiece.
Neither offense was slowed by the loss of its starting All-Star point guards. The Spurs’ Tony Parker is expected to miss another two weeks with a Grade 2 left ankle sprain and Cleveland will be without Kyrie Irving (shoulder) for another three weeks.
It was defense that both teams were lacking.
Opponents were averaging 96.2 points against the Spurs entering Saturday’s game, but the Cavaliers had 90 entering the fourth.
Frustration with that defense may have led to Gregg Popovich’s ejection. The Spurs coach was ejected with 6:33 left in the first half after arguing a charge Ed Malloy called on Boris Diaw. After the initial technical, Popovich was quickly assessed a second and ejected after storming onto the court, yelling and pointing at Malloy.
San Antonio outscored Cleveland 19-12 down the stretch, but the Cavs shot 51 percent from the field.
Duncan had 13 points in the first quarter, going 6 for 9 and collecting six rebounds.
He tossed in a 2-foot jumper that gave the Spurs a 30-21 lead with 3 minutes left in the first quarter. Leonard picked up an assist on the basket, hustling in from out of bounds to tip his own missed shot to Duncan.
Waiters’ 3 with 7 minutes left in the first half capped a 13-5 run that gave the Cavaliers a 48-44 lead.
After CJ Miles made both free throws on Popovich’s technicals, the Spurs closed the first half on a 22-11 run to take a 66-61 lead. Ginobili had eight points in the run and Duncan added seven.
Cleveland shot 61 percent from the field in the first half.
The Spurs never trailed in the third quarter, but Livingston’s layup with 1:20 left tied the game at 90 to set up the fourth quarter.